Anita Ekberg Anita Ekberg

Anita Ekberg, the actress and sex symbol who is most remembered for her iconic role in La Dolce Vita, died Sunday morning in Rome following a series of illnesses, The Associated Press reports. She was 83.

Ekberg was hospitalized just after Christmas, her lawyer, Patrizia Ubaldi, told the AP. "She had hoped to get better, something that didn't happen," Ubaldi said.

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Born in Malmo, Sweden, Ekberg won the Miss Sweden competition in 1951 and later moved to America to begin a modeling career. She received a "promising newcomer" Golden Globe Award in 1956.

Ekberg's biggest role was in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960), in which she memorably walks in the Fountain of Trevi wearing a black dress and calling out to co-star Marcello Mastroianni's character.

Ekberg also starred alongside Bob Hope in Paris Holiday and opposite Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in 4 for Texas. Her final film credit was 1996's Bambola.

She married and divorced twice but never had children. According to reports in 2011, she was destitute, had been hospitalized several times for various illnesses, and had applied for financial help from the Fellini Foundation.